When I’m on my own and when I’m traveling with a group, some of my favorite parts of the entire experience are getting to sample new foods and taste familiar ones assembled in new ways. And really, who doesn’t love indulging in the experience of food? I plan whole trips around that idea! In preparation for my trip to Ireland with Brendan Vacations, I’ve been doing a little research on the famed full Irish breakfast (AKA “Ulster fry” in Northern Ireland), and I’m here to share my insights.
What Is a Full Irish Breakfast?
At its most basic, a full Irish breakfast is a hearty meal consisting of rashers (a thicker and fattier version of bacon), sausage, eggs, and toast fried in a healthy dose of butter. This is the bare minimum, however. Irish breakfasts usually contain other items, such as baked beans, mushrooms, tomatoes, potatoes, tea, orange juice, and all of the fixings you can imagine going on a bit of toast or brown soda bread.
When Do You Eat It?
As the name would suggest, this dish is usually consumed at breakfast time. Due to its extensive nature, it isn’t usually a weekday kind of meal (unless you’re on vacation, then consume whenever you like!). Typically, a full Irish breakfast is reserved for lazy weekend brunches.
The British have a similar breakfast, but the Irish one includes black and white pudding, also known as drisheen. Why it’s called a pudding, though, I still have not discovered. Both the black and white versions are actually sausage made with onions, herbs, and some binding ingredient like oats or barley. Black pudding has an additional ingredient that turns it its dark color--pigs’ blood! It has a unique salty flavor, but given its ingredients, many people are divided on whether they’d like to try that for breakfast. If you request to leave that part out, your server will understand.
More and more items have been added to the breakfast lineup over the years, including fried onions, corned beef, haggis, vegetarian sausage, and pancakes. So long as it contains the basics of a traditional Irish breakfast, you can add on as much or as little as you like and call it by the same name (but don’t be surprised if others aren’t familiar with your particular version of it).
Do you think you’ll be whipping up your own full Irish breakfast any time soon? Let me know! If you’d like to visit the source of the meal, check out my upcoming travel page or get in touch today.
Author: Debra Harris
As founder of Life’s Journey Travel, I’m deeply passionate about creating custom travel experiences that allow my clients to truly savor the journey.